Tips for Preventing Weight Gain & Maintaining Health Habits During the Holidays!

Tips for Preventing Weight Gain & Maintaining Health Habits During the Holidays!



Holiday season is upon us!

And... November is Diabetes Awareness Month- so there is no better time to talk about how your health habits during the upcoming holidays can impact your risk for poor blood sugar control. Especially, if you are someone with a strong family history of diabetes, or have a personal history of PREDIABETES or you already have type 2 diabetes!

No matter the holiday that you celebrate, for many of us, it is a time for planning, invitations, friends & family, and a lot of food! When on your journey toward better health, this can be a challenging time to maintain health habits and can come with some weight gain- and there can be real impacts to holiday eating on medical issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and blood sugar control and for those worried about heart disease!

With a little bit of planning ahead and an internal commitment to stay mindful while enjoying the festivities, we can enjoy the holiday season while being joyful and making fun memories and not compromising health. 

Here are some ways to maintain diabetes control, practice healthy habits and avoid weight gain during this time of year:

  • Maintain your sleep habits: Aim for 7-8 hours when possible and prioritize sleep as much as you can while still enjoying time with family and friends. It is hard to practice mindful eating when you are tired and hungry (and hunger hormones are revved up!)

  • Move to stay strong: Focus on small ways to maintain strength, endurance and flexibility such as short bouts of resistance training by doing lunges or squats throughout the day. 10-20 minutes of something is better than nothing!

  • Be stress aware: Stay aware of how you cope with holiday stress. Sure, it is a time of get-togethers and fun but is often also stressful to make things "perfect" or when dealing with "less than perfect" relatives! : ) So, be sure to care for the WHOLE you. Build in downtime, even for 10 minutes a day. Enjoy a short walk, get some sun, talk to a friend, meditate, spend time with your pet, and get off those devices

  • Be food aware: Some things to consider for healthy holiday eating...

    • Don’t starve to earn the indulgent meal

    • Don’t let any food be forbidden. Let go of the guilt and enjoy the indulgences mindful while focusing on what to ADD to your plate as well- example an extra serving of veggies and fiber to keep that blood sugar under control!

    • “Fake the drink”. No one knows whether your drink has alcohol in it or not. Consider alternating alcohol beverages with non-alcohol ones to "space out" alcohol. Not only is alcohol extra calories, but it can also result in sleep disruption later, giving in more easily to cravings and not feeling as great the day after and can definitely impact blood sugars. 

    • Play with your food! Create healthy twists on classic dishes to help make them more wholesome and nutritious. Perhaps sub out whole grain flour to add more fiber into baked goods or add a little less added sugar or sweeten baked goods using whole fruit which can help lower blood sugar. 

Feel free to print out the graphic below to have it somewhere as a visible reminder of small ways you can celebrate while feeling good inside and out! 


In health, 

Richa Mittal MD 



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